Friday, August 21, 2020

Feel Good Friday - 5 Calls

After watching the Democratic National Convention this week, I'm all fired up to spend Feel Good Friday sharing an easy way to participate in our government. Make 5 Calls!

Founded by a husband and wife team in San Francisco, 5 Calls is an open source project to make advocacy accessible. A team of volunteers researches issues and determines which representatives are most influential on which topic. Next, they collect phone numbers for those offices and write a script that articulates a progressive position on the topic. All you have to do is spend 5 minutes to make 5 calls.

Calling members of Congress is more effective than emailing or ranting on social media because staffers tally the calls and give the count to your representatives. You can learn more about it by reading the articles linked on the 5 Calls website.

If you want to get started but aren't sure who to call or what to say, fill in your location to get a list of active issues. When I input Oakland, the top issues were related to the USPS, mail-in voting and demanding an extension to collect census data. 

If you're not interested in what shows up, you can view the list of all 74 active issues. Topics include: appointments, civil rights, consumer protection, criminal justice, digital rights, environment, foreign affairs, government oversight, gun reform, healthcare, immigration, LGBTQ, police reform, voter rights, women's rights, and workers' rights.

Clicking on a specific issue brings up a summary of the situation, the name and number of the politician to call and a script to follow, or use as inspiration. You can see the script for calling your Governor to demand ballot drop boxes at this link. Your call will be answered by a staffer (or voicemail) and should only take a minute. I'm writing this on Thursday night and am excited to make some calls tomorrow and report back in the comments.

You can support the work of 5 Calls with a donation and if you want reminders to participate, you can sign up for the 5 Calls Weekly Newsletter. Other ways to stay involved? Connect with their social media by liking their Facebook page and following them on Twitter @make5calls. And for goodness sake, make 5 calls!

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